People of Action and People of Heart
The Horizons of Hope Families as Partners in Catholic School Communities Strategy Statement outlines the vision for family partnerships and engagement in a Catholic school.
The three major contexts in which children learn are the family, the school and the community. Families are the first educators of their children, and when the child moves beyond the earliest years, families are joined by a school on their child’s learning journey. This is when a long-term partnership between home and school begins.
In choosing a Catholic school, parents enter a partnership with the school in which there is shared privilege and responsibility for the child’s faith formation, learning and wellbeing.
‘When Catholic schools and families work together for the formation of all children, the school community is strengthened, and the whole of society benefits as a sense of ownership and belonging to community grows for children and young people, and for their families (Bryk et al. 2010).’
Families are honoured in a Catholic school community in three main ways:
Encounter through partnership – encounter happens when the sacred dignity of each person in the partnership is honoured, with each person learning alongside the other
Activating engagement – leaders, teachers, families and children each have a role to play to strengthen the relationship between school and home
Three-way learning relationship – parents, teachers and children come together in a three-way learning relationship to support the full flourishing of each and every child.
There are many ways in which community is lived in our school community, many ways for families to be part of the learning process and life of the school. As a small, close knit community, people genuinely support one another through many challenging and joyful times.
“The parish is not principally a structure, a territory, or a building, but rather, ‘the family of God, a fellowship afire with a unifying spirit’, ‘a familial and welcoming home’, the ‘community of the faithful’. Plainly and simply, the parish is founded on a theological reality, because it is a Eucharistic community. This means that the parish is a community properly suited for celebrating the Eucharist, the living source for its upbuilding and the sacramental bond of its being in full communion with the whole Church.” John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 1988, no. 26.
Our Lady of Fatima, Rosebud and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Dromana are our Parish and Church communities.
Families, Catholic schools and parishes work together as partners in the spiritual formation and education of children and young people. Parents, supported by their parish communities, are the first, foremost and continuing educators of their children. The family is the first educative ‘school’ or ‘community’ to which they belong and in which they have their early formation in their Catholic faith.
Our playgroup is open to anyone from our surrounding community and is an opportunity for mums, dads and pre schoolers to come together to play, celebrate friendships, support parents and carers and provide a supportive play based environment.
Through playgroup we encourage self expression and exploration of everyone's individual identity. Whether it’s discovering new foods, music, art or language, children learn best through play.
We are lucky to partner with the Rosebud Toy Library and Claire, our beautiful playgroup facilitator ensures that everything is set up for a great morning every Monday at 9am.
School Advisory Council
The Board of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Ltd (MACS) has responsibility for the strategic direction and oversight of the operation and management of all MACS schools, including Our Lady of Fatima. Clear lines of authority, reporting and delegation from the MACS Board through the MACS Executive Director delegate the day to day operational management of Our Lady of Fatima to its principal.
In keeping with the objects of the MACS Constitution, which states “The good work of educating the young, undertaken in the light of the Gospel, is a co-responsible task led by every member of the Catholic school community”, the School Advisory Council provides a crucial point of connection between the wider school community and school leaders. While the School Advisory Council does not have governance responsibility or decision-making authority, it supports the principal and school leadership and provides an important connection to the parish.
Being a member of the newly formed Council in 2021 is a great way to be part of a great community school and have a voice in the future directions and school improvement planning processes.
Community in Action Group
The Our Lady of Fatima Community in Action Group (formerly known as the Parents and Friends Group) is a flexibly changing group of parents, friends, past parents, dads and grandparents who want to support the life of the school in a variety of ways.
With the landscape constantly changing due to COVID, we are reinventing how our Community in Action Group can be responsive to the needs of the community.
The CIA work in large groups and sub groups to ensure the smooth running of school events such as Harmony Day, Holy Week celebrations, Special days, mothers day and fathers day celebrations, sports events, fund raising work, social events and supporting the engagement in learning of our students.
The CIA group have been instrumental in enabling us to receive funding through Bendigo Bank and they fund minor school improvement projects. Being a part of this group is a great way to get to know everyone; students, staff and other parents and carers.
Engagement in Learning
Family engagement in learning contributes to children’s wellbeing, learning and life chances. As schools partner with families, the sanctity of the family as primary educators of their child is honoured. All efforts are based on knowing the child and the family and supporting the family to engage in their
child’s school-based learning. (Horizons of Hope)
By partnering with the school, families equally choose to commit to the highest standards possible for their child, and for every child in the school. This commitment is at the heart of the growth and strength of a flourishing Catholic school community.
Opportunities for parents to engage in learning include coming into our learning environments once the COVID landscape is clear, working with groups of students through Student Inquiry, The Arts, Sports and Academic contexts, through engagement in student led three way learning conversations, attending and engaging in Student Expos and being a big part of the success of our very well attended and vibrant Family Faith nights and Sacramental workshops.
Our staff team also lead many wonderful family engagement activities through the year such as our Family Welcome Pizza and BBQ night, Prep Meet and Greet, Mother's Day Breakfast and needs based learning workshops.
The Our Lady of Fatima second hand uniform shop and parent hub is a designated space in the school (in the process of becoming more of a meeting space) where all freshly laundered second hand uniform pieces are available for $3.00 an item.
All money goes back into supporting any families in need. Sometimes families experience loss or a hardship through a member of the family becoming sick and we always have meals and resources there to support them for as long as they need.
We have a very passionate and caring grandmother who keeps this valuable part of our school going. Occasionally we have a pop up shop!
Watch this space as our Parent Hub takes shape!